A very poor man's "The Insider." Derivative, meager, overacted, trope-ridden Oscar-bait that feels like a trailer for derivative, meager, overacted, trope-ridden Oscar-bait. Possibly the most ham-handed film I've seen this year.
For a film with a traditional narrative style it establishes its conflict too far into the story. Halfway through you get the impression it might all be over without anything having happened yet. Dr. Omalu states God didn't make us to play (american) football. I want to jump onto this train of thought and say God also made the Earth round, and thus, we ARE made to play (association) football. Conflict Solved ;)
An O.K. Will Smith vehicle that suffers from a script wary of going for the jugular. Especially wasted here is the very talented Gugu Mbatha-Raw who is cast thanklessly in an under written part. Nevertheless the film is watchable and entertaining enough but nowhere near political or agitating enough.
This is definitely more of a tragedy than you'll usually find for a movie with Will Smith in the lead, but he churns out a solid performance as Dr. Bennett Omalu. Unfortunately, the complexities of the league's cover-up are sugarcoated for an easily-digested underdog story and clunky romantic subplot.
Like the approach to the story in terms of it being a slowburn and tense look at yet another corporate America coverup in lieu of the tobacco industry and the repeated denial of climate change. Doesn't have the same kind of gripping social/investigative angle of "Spotlight," but manages to do well as being a basic procedural that tells a good story with a strong central performance.